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Dublin Bay Sailing Club Surveys Members on COVID-19 Hit Season

22nd April 2020
2020 DBSC racing was due to start this Saturday 2020 DBSC racing was due to start this Saturday Photo: Afloat

In a week when Ireland's biggest yacht racing club was due to start its summer schedule, Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) is instead surveying members in lockdown for their thoughts on the prospect of racing on the Bay later this summer as the COVID-19 emergency greatly affects 2020 Irish sailing fixtures.

The survey is being conducted as the club sees a delayed start to the season and 'potentially reduced budgets and resources'.

In the online poll, Commodore Jonathan Nicholson urges as many skippers and crew to complete the three short questions to help the club decide what can be offered. 

The club is the umbrella organisation that runs year-round racing for members from all Dun Laoghaire Harbour's waterfront yacht clubs; the National Yacht Club, the Royal St. George Yacht Club, the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as sailors based at the town marina.

"We want to try and plan for this as best we can in order to deliver our members the best possible racing, as soon as it is safe to do so," Nicholson tells members.

SB20 dbsc2020 1230The Dublin Bay SB20 sportsboat fleet Photo: Afloat

The 2020 DBSC season was due to start on the capital's waters this Saturday for over 250 boats in 20 classes and some estimated 1,500 sailors.

As Afloat previously reported, the timing of the questionnaire is in line with Sport Ireland's own bid to frame protocols for a return to sport with social distancing. Protocols for sailing are being drawn up by Irish Sailing, according to its CEO Harry Hermon yesterday.

"How likely are you to race should your club bar, restaurant and changing rooms remain closed?" 

The DBSC survey says 'We would like to know your initial thoughts before you think too deeply about this season. Please answer this question without thinking too hard! We will ask it again when we have outlined some options.

The multiple-choice survey's first question probes 'Given the current situation with COVID 19 if all rules were relaxed and we could go sailing from the 1st of June how likely are you to join DBSC this year? Answer options range from Very likely to Very Unlikely.

The second question is "How important to your decision to go racing is the Apres Sail at your club? How likely are you to race should your club bar, restaurant and changing rooms remain closed?" 

Published in DBSC
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Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) is one of Europe's biggest yacht racing clubs. It has almost sixteen hundred elected members. It presents more than 100 perpetual trophies each season some dating back to 1884. It provides weekly racing for upwards of 360 yachts, ranging from ocean-going forty footers to small dinghies for juniors.

Undaunted by austerity and encircling gloom, Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC), supported by an institutional memory of one hundred and twenty-nine years of racing and having survived two world wars, a civil war and not to mention the nineteen-thirties depression, it continues to present its racing programme year after year as a cherished Dublin sporting institution.

The DBSC formula that, over the years, has worked very well for Dun Laoghaire sailors. As ever DBSC start racing at the end of April and finish at the end of September. The current commodore is Jonathan Nicholson of the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

The character of racing remains broadly the same in recent times, with starts and finishes at Club's two committee boats, one of them DBSC's new flagship, the Freebird. The latter will also service dinghy racing on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Having more in the way of creature comfort than the John T. Biggs, it has enabled the dinghy sub-committee to attract a regular team to manage its races, very much as happened in the case of MacLir and more recently with the Spirit of the Irish. The expectation is that this will raise the quality of dinghy race management, which, operating as it did on a class quota system, had tended to suffer from a lack of continuity.

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